Consider this your crash course on building a realistic regimen
The 10-step Korean skincare routine had our jaws hit the floor but if truth be told, good skin does not mean slathering on 10 different products. Whoever coined the phrase “less is more,” probably realized the potential pitfalls of having your skin deal with too many ingredients. In a materialistic world, it’s hard to look through all the marketing gimmicks and figure out which skincare products you can actually benefit from. Don’t sweat it, here’s a brief lowdown on what you can do without in your regimen.
Hear us out before going ballistic. Toners helping balance skin’s pH levels is a myth. Most facial cleansers have evolved to a stage where they’re all pH balanced. Unless your toner has an active ingredient to address a specific skin concern, you really don’t need it in your regimen. Besides, most toners contain alcohol which can irritate and dry out your skin.
If you’ve never imagined a routine without a serum, this will convince you otherwise. A serum is just a diluted version of a lotion, and a lotion is just a diluted cream. Need more convincing? If you compare the ingredient lists of your serum, with that of your moisturizer, you’d notice they’re pretty much the same things. So if you think about it, your serum, which very often burns a big hole in your pocket, is not doing anything that your moisturizing cream or lotion isn’t.
Our love affair with exfoliators continue to grow as we are continuously exposed to all the cool clarisonic brushes and active ingredients like mandelic acids and peels. Exfoliating, the most ubiquitous skincare trend right now, is ideally supposed to help shed dead skin cells, promoting new cell generation. But wait. That’s something our skin does on its own anyway. Our cell turnover normally takes place over a period of 28-40 days on average, and what we are doing by exfoliating is accelerating that process that is inevitable anyway.
But if you must
If you’re still bent on using any of these products, please do so by all means. We get it, that fresh visible glow right after exfoliating is just too irresistible to pass up on. Just a heads up on the active ingredients though – whether it’s a physical or a chemical one, they can potentially wreak havoc on your skin.
Physical exfoliants such as a clarisonic brush or a sugar scrub, and chemical ones, like AHA (glycolic, lactic, mandelic acid), and BHA (salicylic acid) may temporarily enhance your appearance by getting rid of the topmost layer of the skin, but they’re also aggravating and scrubbing away natural oils compromising your skin barrier. This may even lead to breakouts, inflammation, itching or burning. So if you’re using them, tread carefully. These active ingredients don’t get along well, so don’t use more than one at a time.
Our holistic approach to skincare is simple, ethical and easy.
We recommend a mild cleanser for dry skin types and a salicylic acid-based cleanser for oily, acne-prone skin. If you enjoy wearing a lot of makeup, you may consider incorporating a cleansing balm or organic oil to dissolve your makeup first and then follow up with a gentle cleanser to clean up every last fleck. Yes, we are talking about the double cleansing method.
Rain or shine, don’t forget your SPF. An SPF of 30 or higher works best. There are tones of sunscreens in the market (mineral, chemical and hybrid sunscreens), so look for something that will block both UVA and UVB, and you’re comfortable applying and reapplying generously throughout the day.
This is the nourishing part of your routine. A light moisturizing lotion or a gel cream is ideal for the oily skin types and a thick heavy-duty moisturizer is the obvious go-to choice for dry skin types. Look for ceramides, peptides, emollients such as shea butter, and humectants like hyaluronic acid in the ingredient list. We highly recommend you steering clear of fragrances and essential oils.